Was the concept of American Excellence a factor in our winning the war?

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by skyblue, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. skyblue

    skyblue Active Member

    When war was declared, after Pearl Harbor, do you think the concept of American Excellence was a factor in our coming together behind the war effort?

    As has been shown elsewhere, a good deal of the nation's productivity was put toward the war effort and there seems to me to be a kind of unity or even patriotism that we do not see in the USA today. As the threads here attest to, there is much more talk of the nation's shortcoming, it's mistakes, than any good qualities the nation may possess or may have possessed in the past.

    What is American Excellence in your opinion?
    Did this concept effect the way the populous responded to the attack on the nation at Pearl Harbor and our actions thereafter?
  2. aghart

    aghart Former Tank Commander Moderator

    American logistics and organisational skills most demonstrate it's excellence in WWII, The "can do" attitude was also inspirational.
  3. georgew

    georgew Member

    Americas manufacturing excellence was already geared for war to a degree as she had been supplying the Brits and the Chinese prior to Pearl Harbor. The Japanese attack gave the added impetus of unifying the people and giving them a purpose which, allied to the exisiting technology and plant, proved a war winner. Yamamoto knew this from the beginning.
  4. Watson

    Watson Member

    I believe that it was more the nature of the Japanese attack rather than a belief in America's manufacturing superiority that caused the country's "coming together" after December 7th.
    On December 6th, there were still many who felt that the country had enough to worry about without getting involved in the rest of the world's problems. After Pearl Harbor, those who felt that way did well to keep such thoughts to themselves.
  5. Allison

    Allison Member

    All of the US was at war. US doesn't just stand for these United States, but all Americans of different races and religions. The basic historical facts about the Red Ball Express was taught in high schools. Yet, there was one key omission: three out four drivers were African Americans. I hadn't learned that fact until I was in college.
    There were females who flew airplanes and landed near the front lines. That was amazing! There were female American nurses who assisted doctors on the front lines. They were bombed like the soldiers they served.
    All kinds of Americans worked in the coal mines, auto factories converted into armament factories, and other strategic factories. It took all of us to defeat the enemy.
  6. Peninha

    Peninha Member

    I've never heard before that concept of American Excellence, but if you ask me I think that the Pearl Harbor attack was indeed determinant because that made the Americans enter the war and finish it, it was exactly the help the Allies were needing.
  7. GearZ

    GearZ Member

    Seneca once wrote "Men love their country, not because it is great, but because it is their own." I think you can make a case for American's believing it is both great and their own.

    The US tried its darnedest to stay out of the war, but the savage attack on Pearl Harbor ended that. She rose to the challenge, militarily, industrially, and financially like few other. Though the quote is disputed, the alleged statement by Yamamoto of "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve" sure rings true.
  8. Peninha

    Peninha Member

    That is so true, we were born in our country and we grow attached to it because it's our home. I'd love to know more details on the crazy guy who decided to attack the US, that was in fact awakening the sleeping giant.
  9. avbodder

    avbodder New Member

    Honestly, it was the tremendous industrial base and endless natural resources of the Americans that gave them the victory. Every nation had splendid and brave soldiers, and even if the Americans hadn't had the precise attitudes they had, they would've ended up on top. There was no way for Japan to take down a nation with ten times its industrial output - the Japanese had to make constant choices between merchant shipping and warships, and no matter what they chose they were losing out.
  10. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    The concept of "American Excellence" is a fair recent jingoistic and chauvanistic concept developed in the recent years after 2000 by a right-wing "think tank". It is being used as a concept to try to rally such people as the "Tea-party patriots" to acts of further knee-jerk reactive political acts, or dance to the tune of the oligarchs.

    There was a certain "swagger" of national pride during WWII that was fueled by the social engineers of the day (advertisers, media, film makers, newsmen) but the term "American Excellence" had yet to be coined. And it would not be coined even by the likes of Senator McCarthy.
  11. R Leonard

    R Leonard Active Member

    Agreed. This is part and parcel of the We Won The War nonsense.
  12. Peninha

    Peninha Member

    I am not saying that the US won the war on their own, but in fact they made the difference. When they dropped the bombs the world saw what they can do and I think they decided it was time to stop.
  13. Rockhem

    Rockhem Member

    Pearl Harbor was plenty to jolt everyone into wanting to fight the war, they realized that an ocean wouldn't be enough to protect them from the axis, and that they needed to fight a war. So what I am saying is that it is mostly pearl harbor, not american pride that caused them to start wanting to fight the war.
  14. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    Rockhem, did you ever see the movie "Patton" with George C. Scott in the title role? I cite it to recall to mind the opening speech by the general. Yes, it was theatrical but it closely mimiced remarks actually made by Patton:

    "Americans love a fight... Americans love a winner, and will not tolerate a loser...."

    I think that was the notion the original post had in mind, not the 'American Excellence' crap.

    Americans have been Socially Engineered to be Patriotic. If Uncle Sam calls loyal citizens come running.
  15. Rockhem

    Rockhem Member

    I haven't seen the movie "Patton", I generally haven't watched many movies on World War II. However, I think you are correct in that aspect. of American's being socially engineered to be patriotic.
  16. Turo Nieminen

    Turo Nieminen Member

    Theres no doubt on my part that patriot spirit didn't affect. Yet i doub't that victory wouldn't have been achieved without it. Writing this as from point of view of the opposition there has been many attempts to belittle the importance of lend-lease aid given to Soviet Union. I can tell that without it the russians would have been very less mobile and had less serviceable troops on Finnish front.

    Regrettably the lend-lease aid was unjustly used by Soviet Union to threaten our sovereign nation. With great sacrifice we weathered the storm. Be it patriotic influence or not, your aid to Soviet Union was more extensive and meaningfull than the modern day Russians would like to admit.

    Like so many times afterwards you helped to create an enemy to your cause by participating in the creation of the mighty Red Army.

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